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Help and advice for Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

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Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

This report was published by three English university scholars into the educational system in Wales. The three were Lingen, Symons and Vaughan Johnson. The report unfairly drew attention to the inadequacy of Welsh education . One of their main points was that Welsh children , and often their teachers too, could not speak English. The report was produced in blue books, hence the name. Apart from , and because of, the understandable outrage of Welsh people the report helped to forge a  greater sense of national identity and the publication was referred to as "The Treachery of the Blue Books" [Brad y Llyfrau Gleison]. One of the principal Welshmen who fought a campaign against the report was Evan Jones , better known as Ieuan Gwynedd, a  minister and a journalist .. One of the report's statements was that Welsh was a " peculiar language isolating the masses from the upper portion of society". Sadly, for the Welsh language, faced with such criticism many people did opt for an education in the English language despite the efforts of Ieuan Gwynedd and others. [ Based on an article in"A Helping Hand "by W J Jones 1996]

This is an extract by Aidan Jones from the actual Report as far as it relates to this parish;


On November 2nd, I visited the above hamlet of Llanddewi brefi parish.  I found there a schoolroom newly built, but not quite finished; partly at the expense of the National Society, and partly by subscriptions raised by the clergyman and parishioners, the room was well lighted by four glazed windows, two looking to the front, and two to the back of the building. The furniture consists of one desk in very good repair, and six or eight benches. The floor was very damp. There was a place for fire, but no grate had been fixed. The walls are of stone, and in very good order, and the building altogether, when finished (which is expected will soon be done) will, I have no doubt make a very comfortable room. There were no outbuildings of any description belonging to the place. No school had been held for the last two months, in consequence of the inability of the clergyman and churchwardens of the parish to find a competent person as master. Hopes were entertained of having the school re-opened again before Christmas.

I found there three little boys, to whom I put a few questions, two of them had been in school for one year, and the third for one quarter. One had never heard of Jesus Christ, the other two had but did not know whose son he was. God was in heaven.  Had all heard of the Apostles, but did not know what they were. The disciples were Apostles. Jesus Christ had come on earth; he came to make the earth. The mother of our Saviour was the Virgin Mary. Christ was killed on the cross.  His hands and feet were nailed to it. Everybody crucified him. Had heard of the Queen; she lived in London; her name was Victoria.  Did not know what she did. Cardiganshire was in England. Ireland was a parish. Did not know what side of the sea it was.

(Signed)      DAVID LEWIS, Assistant.